Stash Evolution

After returning from vacation at the beginning of last month, I worked to organize my sewing space (as I write this, it’s a mess again though). First up? Fabric, fabric, fabric.

The fabric in my house is multiplying. From what I understand, this is a regular phenomenon.

You can follow the evolution of my stash below.
Note: my sewing space has no windows, various light sources and khaki walls, so getting true-to-life colors in photos is nearly impossible in this room (despite trying to color correct in Photoshop).

A little pile of all my fabric, early 2009 (pre-quilting):
Stack of Folds

Stash building has begun, August 2009:
Fabric Stash

An established hobby, June 2010:
Creative Space Update :: Finished

July 2011 (showing a bit of fabric boom in the last year):

Fabric Organization: July 2011

You can see that my fabric now takes over the entire bookshelf.

Fabric Organization: July 2011

Top shelf: 1 – 2 yard cuts on mini bolts*, narrow stacks with Heather Ross prints, Anna Maria Horner prints and some miscellaneous fabric groupings.

Second shelf: wider stack is small cuts of solids and near-solids; narrow stacks are F8ths/FQs/half yards sorted by color and motifs (general, novelty and text/word prints)

Fabric Organization: July 2011

Third shelf: fabric collections (FQ – yardage cuts), including FreshCut, Mendocino, Far Far Away I/II/III, almost all of my Denyse Schmidt prints (KJR, P&F, HV, GFH).

Fourth shelf: fabric collections (FQs – yardage cuts), including Farmdale, Tula Pink prints (Neptune, Parisville, Prince Charming, Nest, Flutterby, Full Moon Forest), Lizzy House prints (RLD, Peeps), 1974, Figgy Pudding.

Fabric Organization: July 2011

Fifth shelf: the fabric on the mini bolts is slated to be binding for future quilts; the folded fabric is mostly large cuts (3+ yards), some of which have been earmarked for backings.

Bottom shelf: don’t let the boxes fool you. There is fabric in them, too: decorator weight, flannel, and miscellaneous.

Fabric Organization: July 2011

Next to my bookcase is a drawer unit (ALEX from IKEA) that holds my precuts, my small collection of FMF and Munki, a couple WIPs, and some other small piles of fabric for future projects.

Atop of the ALEX unit is a metal bin with batting.

Fabric Organization: July 2011

And then there are the scraps; the bigger scraps are sorted by colors (red/pink, orange/yellow, green/blue, purple/brown, black/white, multi) in newly-purchased clear plastic drawers under the desk that I use for my pressing table.

Fabric Organization: July 2011

In the desk drawers, my smaller scraps are somewhat organized into strips, charms, layer cake extras, small squares and ‘needs to be sorted.’

Prior to getting all of the fabric neatly folded and organized, I had fabric piled on every horizontal surface in my sewing room (I didn’t think to take a picture of my fabric mountains, but I should have!). I spent a weekend sorting, folding, organizing and putting it away. If you have an ever-expanding fabric stash, I suggest you do this too since it can be really eye-opening to see what you have all spread out.

Since it is now more than obvious that I have enough fabric to last me years, I really need to curb the amount of fabric coming into my house.


*When organizing my fabric this time, I tried a new-to-me method for my larger-ish cuts: mini-bolts.

I’ve seen examples of quilters using comic book boards as mini-bolts, but I wanted bigger mini-bolts so they would fill the depth of my shelves and be tall enough to hold the fabric for the way I wanted to fold it. As luck would have it, there are bigger mini-bolts in the form of magazine backing boards and even bigger “Life” magazine backing boards. The “Life” magazine backing boards best fit my specs but would need to be trimmed on one end for my needs.

Before I placed an order for the magazine boards, I decided to ask my friend Lisa what she used when she organized some of her stash with mini-bolts not long ago. It turns out she used “Life” boards and she bought too many so she had extra to spare. I bought a pack from Lisa, trimmed them to 11½” tall to fit my fabric/shelves and got busy wrapping my larger-ish cuts of fabric (1 to 2 yards). The “Life” boards are the perfect width (10¾”) for my shelves so there is not any dead space in front of the fabric on the shelf. And I pin the fabric to keep it wrapped around the mini-bolts. A downside to having wider mini-bolts is that cuts of fabric less than one yard don’t wrap around the board well. I am ok with this “issue” since I fold and stack my smaller cuts anyway. Thanks, Lisa!

11 thoughts on “Stash Evolution

  1. Ha ha, I was just looking at pictures of my stash, and the same thing happened to me! Last week I actually finally admitted the amount of fabric I buy to my husband, and asked him to change my Paypal password for me. I’m pretty sure there’s a legitimate problem up there in my fabric-loving brain, so now he gets to be the one who decides if I “need” more fabric, which will probably nearly halt the growth of my stash! But I have to admit, it feels pretty good to come clean. 🙂 I just hope Heather Ross doesn’t come out with anything new too soon, and that I can get my hands on some bits of the new DS line. And the FMF reprint. But that’s all! Really!

  2. You’re welcome, Lucia! The organization looks great. Mine lasted quite a while after I finally got it all folded and pinned because I did not want to use it after spending so much time making it look pretty. 🙂

  3. I organized (found what I forgot I had) last weekend. Got a bag ready to donate to my local Project Linus. I will have to live a very long time to use what I have. Need an Etsy shop I guess. Fun to organize and find all the goodies. I am really going to try to use what I have with just a few necessary purchases!!

  4. I admire your fabric organization! wish I could do it…

    A question: I noticed that your fabric is on open shelves. Doesn’t the fabric get faded on the side exposed to light (even artificial light)?

  5. I have just purchased “Scrap Therapy: Cut the Scraps” by Joan Ford–and began to “bash my stash” of scraps today…like the whole book….I have many-bags-full of cuttings from quilts I have made over the years. Hate to get rid of leftovers…but this seems to be a very organized method…Julierose

  6. I’m so embarrassed because your stash is so neat! Running an online fabric store for a few years then closing it means fabric is everywhere! well done on such a neat and organised stash. Lovely!

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